Artist Spotlight Series: Andrea Ferrigno

Art makes me happy and is a welcome drop of beauty and distraction in this complex world we are living in today.

These vibrant pieces transport me to better times ahead.

Enjoy the latest Artist Spotlight Series featuring the talented

Andrea Ferrigno

Galesburg, Illinois

What is your training?

I received my BFA from Kansas City Art Institute and my MFA from University of Iowa. While my primary areas are painting, drawing, and printmaking, I have also studied and worked with video, fiber, and ceramics.

What inspires you and your designs?

I am driven by desire to understand the workings of the natural physical world. I have long looked to areas of science such as physics and biology. I am also inspired by geometry as methodology to understand the structure of form as well as geometric patterns. I love how geometry occupies a place between the natural and man-made world. And, I also find the expansive geographic and historical of the use of geometry over thousands of years of human history extremely powerful. My visual language is rooted in these objective ideas, but I am interested ultimately in infusing these systems with my subjective experience through nuanced form and color.

 What is your favorite piece? 

Hmmmm…. My favorite piece is usually the next one I am working on, or ones in which I have started to open up new formal territory and have something to explore further. An example of this is “La Force du Destin”. In this piece, partly inspired by the opera of the same name, I began working with curvilinear forms in muted grey tones. I was thinking of sound waves. I also read the work to have an operatic gesture. I have been working with this spiraling, wavy form in notebook drawings but I have only started to explore this in my paintings.

How has your area influenced your work?

There is something about the Midwest, where I have spent the majority of my time that has infiltrated the work. Memories of lush summers filled flowers and foliage certainly inform my color. I also spent a good deal of time in nature growing up and my interest in the scientific phenomena of natural forms is certainly influenced by my growing up in Iowa. I was fortunate to spend last summer working in Paris. The work I completed there was directly informed by the architecture of the city.

What is your favorite restaurant?

Koreana– a family owned Korean restaurant. I love the rainbow of color and flavors, especially after piling on the kimchi.

What is your favorite cocktail?

Vodka martini with blue cheese stuffed olives.

How do you balance personal life and work?

It is tough! There is never enough time. I am a full-time Associate Professor of Art at Knox College in Galesburg, IL. It is a tightrope act at times managing the responsibilities of the job, family, and finding time to create and exhibit. Some days, weeks, months I balance all of these better than others.  

Dream trip?

I have family ties to Italy and Japan. Those two places are on the top of the list. But I would probably start with Italy. I had a secret pact with my grandfather from Sicily. He was old and longed to return to his homeland. He didn’t fly so he would say to me in broken English: “One day we go. We take a ship. You no tell no one, you no tell your father.” My father would not have approved his plans! While he has since passed with never making the voyage, I love the idea of taking a ship to Italy.

Dream commission?

I would love to work on stain glass windows. I would love to design windows and incorporate them into a medieval church, like artist Pierre Soulages.

So, dream commission- to contribute creatively to the restoration of Notre Dame- Paris.

Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?

Who is your style icon? Billy Eilish came to mind immediately but I haven’t dressed like her in quite some time, and never went to her level of “goth”.

I don’t think I could pull off that look now but maybe in another 20 years but will likely head in the Iris Apfel direction.

Your favorite up and coming artist?

I can’t say I have one favorite. Somewhat established, though a bit under the radar is Altoon Sultan. I love her work. It is quiet, poetic, and she has a diverse range of approaches to material which is something I admire and empathize with.

 What is your most treasured possession?

My necklace that was a gift my grandfather picked up travelling while deployed. I need to find out more about the story. It was my grandmothers, then my mothers, now mine. It was actually a charm bracelet originally and now a set of pendants and separate necklace. It is one of the few items I have connected to this side of my family history.

What are you reading?

The Secret Lives of Colour, by Kassia St. Clair.

I just finished Running With Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs, and am looking for a new novel to pick up.

What are you listening to?

A lot of hip-hop, but I appreciate a wide range of music.

What are your favorite blogs / publications?

I love following Sharon Butler’s Two Coats of Paint, and Hyperallergic, particularly the writing of John Yau.


Follow Andrea on her Instagram and her website

I adore this piece!

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